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How to Remedy Chapped Lips

Is Your Toothpaste Giving You Chapped Lips?


As the temperature drops, your lips can easily become dry and chapped. But Allure has tips to maximize your moisture for a pretty pout no matter the season.

Maybe it's that I just got back to New York City from sunny Miami, but my lips are already chapped, scaly, and painfully tight — and it's not even Winter. What's the deal? "During cold weather and in low-humidity environments, moisture escapes quickly through the top layer of skin," says dermatologist Francesca Fusco. "And because you're always moving your mouth, healing cracked lips is an extremely slow process." So since I can't stop talking or eating any time soon, I made it my mission to get all the possible tricks and tips for dealing with this annoying cold-weather issue. Effective immediately, here's what I'm doing:

Related: How to Soothe Red Patches This Season

Apply balm compulsively. Our editor in chief, Linda Wells, swipes on lip balm every time she switches tasks at work. "From email to editing, from a meeting to a phone call, I apply lip balm."

Pick a product that actually works. Look for one that's viscous, rather than waxy, to really get into the cracks, and look for a formula with hydrating ingredients, like petrolatum, shea butter, hyaluronic acid, or dimethicone. I've been a longtime fan of Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 ($7) or Lucas Papaw Healing Ointment ($12) — if I can get my hands on a tube that is.

Brush, floss, and swipe on some lip balm. Toothpastes, mouthwashes, teeth-bleaching systems and facial cleansers all mess with the pH balance in your mouth, which can also cause chapping. Applying lip balm right after brushing your teeth or washing your face can help, says dermatologist Audrey Kunin.

Get rid of flakes — the right way. You need to be gentle when exfoliating your lips, or else you might exacerbate the dryness. Get rid of dry flakes by buffing lips with a damp washcloth or a baby toothbrush and rubbing in a drop of eye cream around the edges of the mouth — it's more moisturizing than lip balm.

Break out the oils. At-home remedies can be just as helpful as store-bought balms. Dr. Fusco recommends olive oil or coconut oil.

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